Snowfall Saturday could hit 7 inches in some Michigan areas

The Detroit News

Forecasts for winter weather Saturday afternoon and overnight are becoming clearer as widespread accumulating snow expected across all of the southwest quarter of Lower Michigan, with lighter accumulations in Metro Detroit and southeast Michigan.

The National Weather Service is forecasting 2-4 inches across central and west central Lower Michigan, 3-6 inches in the Interstate 96 corridor and 5-7 inches along Interstate 94 in west Michigan. 

Accumulations of 4-7 inches are expected with locally higher amounts possible in Berrien and Cass counties especially along Lake Michigan.

"The heaviest snow looks to fall in ... two rows of counties: the Allegan to Ingham row and the Van Buren to Jackson row," the NWS said.

Snowfall estimates for Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022

The snow is likely to start as rain south of the Metro Detroit to the Ohio state line and snowfall totals in those areas, including Monroe and Lenawee counties, could be just an inch or 2.

The weather service issued a hazardous weather advisory Friday afternoon.

"Snow will begin Saturday afternoon (New Year's Day) and continue into Sunday morning. The heaviest snow will fall Saturday evening," NWS in Grand Rapids said.

The weather service has been watching developments with the system all week.

"With the holiday weekend coming up and people traveling, it's important to be aware of this ... plan ahead and stay updated on any forecast changes that come within the next few days," said Megan Varcie, a meteorologist with the weather service, this week. 

Windy conditions will contribute to blowing snow late Saturday, making travel more hazardous.

"Hazardous travel will develop from Saturday afternoon and continue into Saturday night," according to the NWS in Gaylord. "Blowing and drifting snow is expected as well with northerly winds of 15 to 25 mph."